SMITHFIELD — Kodi Whitley didn’t run into much trouble on the mound Wednesday night.
And his offensive teammates from Johnston County Post 71 made things even easier.
The right-hander from Cleveland High went all seven innings, allowing both runs on seven hits while striking out eight against one walk in a 12-2 win over Raleigh Post 1 at Spartan Field.
The game was stopped on run differential with nobody out in the Johnston seventh when Jack Sherrill followed back-to-back singles from Brody Sanders and Adam Morrison with a two-run triple to right field.
“We lost a tough one Sunday (at Creedmoor) and it was nice to come back and play good fundamental baseball,” said Johnston coach Stephen Nordan, whose team improved to 3-4 with the non-conference win. “We hadn’t really played a complete game, and tonight it was nice to see the kids come out and have fun and enjoy it.
“I think we’ve been pressing a little bit early in the season. New faces are trying to fit into roles. But tonight we kind of put it together. And Kodi has been Kodi all season. He gets up there and commands the zone, throws strikes and limits the walks.”
Post 1 fell to 4-3 with the loss.
“We’ve played a lot better than this,” Raleigh coach Aaron Rich said. “We just swept Orange County to start our conference play and we were trying to get some extra guys some work. Our starting pitcher is going to (UNC Greensboro), but he was working on a few things. And we had some bench players that started.
“Johnston County is going to be good. They’ve got some solid players and they’re always going to be good.”
The hosts finished with 11 hits. Blake Mitchell had a trio of singles with an RBI while Justin Carroll chipped in a double and a single with an RBI and Morrison had two hits and scored twice.
Catcher Jack Conley had a two-run homer with a pair of singles for Raleigh.
“I think I did OK,” said Whitley, a rising senior who is already committed to play at Mount Olive after graduation. “I just threw a lot of fastballs and let my defense do the work. We scored runs and really played as a team.
“This was one of my better outings for this team, I guess. We’ve got a lot of talent. If we keep playing like this there’s no telling what we can do.”
Johnston scored five runs in the first inning off Gavin Russell, with three errors contributing to the big frame. Brett Clark was also hit by a pitch for the first of three times in the contest.
“I saw a lot of fastballs early and tried to jump on them,” said Mitchell, who played at Smithfield-Selma and is a rising sophomore at Barton. “I wanted to do what I could for my team. Everybody’s still figuring out their roles, but it’s coming together and I think we’re going to be all right.”
Johnston led 10-0, scoring the 10th run off Austin Walker in the fifth as Morrison greeted the reliever with a single and scored on Matthew Parrish’s two-out single to left center.
But the visitors forced Post 71 to go to the bottom of the seventh when Conley hit a two-out, two-run shot over the center-field fence.